Ethiopia/Tigray talking peace in South Africa

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South Africa, at the behest of continental body the African Union (AU), is hosting talks to find “a peaceful and sustainable solution” to ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

Briefing media in Pretoria this week, Presidency spokesman Vincent Magwenya said the talks with the Ethiopian government and its Tigray region present started on Tuesday (25 October) and will run until Sunday.

“As a country committed to the AU objectives of silencing the guns, South Africa is ready to serve as a host and provide assistance to the peace talks.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa readily agreed when he received the AU’ request for South Africa to host the peace talks as such talks are in line with South Africa’s foreign policy objectives of a secure and conflict-free continent,” his statement reads.

The talks are facilitated by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, supported by former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and former South African deputy president Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

“South Africa wishes the facilitation team well and hopes the talks proceed constructively and result in a successful outcome that leads to lasting peace for all the people of Ethiopia.”

AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat said the Pretoria talks were the first “direct” ones between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. They are part of an ongoing AU-led process to support a political solution to conflict in the Tigray region, one of nine national regional states (NRSs).